The 2015 CityBlock Summer Concert Series
The Summer of 2015 represents a new chapter in the annual outdoor concert series held in Stearns Square. The series reverts back to its original moniker, CityBlock, re-establishing itself as the premiere outdoor concert experience in Western Mass and a prime showcase for Downtown Springfield.
CityBlock presents high-end national touring acts across a wide-array of genres that will appeal to all music fans. The performances are held on Thursday nights at Stearns Square, in the heart of downtown Springfield. New this year is the Local Music Showcase featuring the best Valley musicians performing from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on CityBlock’s Second Stage. Main performances begin around 7pm. PLEASE NOTE: FINAL CONCERT OF SEASON (8/27) WILL BE HELD AT COURT SQUARE across from City Hall and MassMutual Center.
WHAT’S NEW AT CITYBLOCK
CityBlock 2015 offers a vastly new and improved concert experience for fans. The series will be presented on a new stage located at the Bridge Street end of the square, creating a “concert hall” setting for improved sound and sight lines.
A second stage set up at the opposite end will feature the series’ first-ever Local Music Showcase. The Eastern States Exposition has teamed up with the Springfield Business Improvement District to create the local music showcase at this summer’s CityBlock concert series and give two local bands a chance to appear at the xfinity arena during The Big E. If you or someone you know would like to know more about registering a band click here.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS CONCERT WILL BE HELD AT COURT SQUARE across from City Hall and MassMutual Center.
August 27: FAT – Springfield’s own FAT plays makes its annual appearance at CityBlock. This acclaimed rock band sold out its MassMutual Center Ballroom show in December of this year and will bring a star-studded “special guest” lineup to the final CityBlock show of the year. Plus we are excited to announce special guest Mitch Chakour.
“We decided in anticipation of the size of the crowd for this show; plus the lead in to an amazing weekend of fun with Valley Fest occurring in the Square just two days later; that this made perfect sense as a location,” shares Executive Director Chris Russell.
REMINDER: Concert being held at Court Square. There will be no street closures for this event, plenty of on-street parking; as well as garage parking in the Civic Center and 91S garages. This special night will also include awesome prize giveaways and the double decker Budweiser Beer Garden Experience.
Springfield was thrilled to have these artists join us this year:
July 2: Jane Monheit One of modern jazz’s true superstars, Monheit has been a leading light in both the jazz and cabaret worlds since emerging as a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute’s 1998 vocal competition. In addition to her own recordings, she has worked alongside the likes of Terence Blanchard, Tom Harrell, and Ivan Lins. She is a two-time Grammy-nominee.
July 9: Jon Butcher of Axis (with Jeff Pitchell and Neal Vitullo) – Many people have made comparisons between Jon Butcher and Jimi Hendrix particularly in the early stages of Jon’s career. His iconic Boston-based band Jon Butcher Axis toured with KISS in the late 70s and J. Geils in the early 80s. He is joined but two of New England’s other great guitarists in Jeff Pitchell of Texas Flood and Neal Vitullo of Young Neal and the Vipers.
July 16: Willie Nile – In his three and a half decades as a recording artist, Willie Nile has earned a reputation as both a fiercely committed rock ’n’ roller and a singularly insightful songwriter. He has shared the stage by invitation with U2, Bruce Springsteen, and The Who. Nile is considered one of the greatest performers to come out of the same Greenwich Village music scene that gave us both Bob Dylan and The Ramones.
July 23: Cinderella’s Tom Keifer – Cinderella was discovered by Jon Bon Jovi in ’85, and has been quoted as saying “I saw Tommy Keifer onstage delivering some pretty nifty, growling vocals. Then he whipped out this Les Paul and proceeded to lay into some astounding sounds. This guy struck me as a star right then and there.” They experienced success with their albums, Night Songs, Long Cold Winter, and Heartbreak Station.
July 30: Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers – “America’s Hottest Accordion” winner, Dwayne (Dopsie) Rubin, plays a unique, high energy style of zydeco. Dwayne hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high energy style that defies existing stereotypes and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music.
August 6: Denny Laine of Wings with The Swinging Steaks – Denny Laine was an original member of the Moody Blues, singing the band’s first hit “Go Now” in 1964, and was a member of Wings with Paul McCartney from 1971 to 1981. In 1973 he recorded the seminal “Band on the Run” album that still ranks in Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Albums of all-time. Laine will be backed by one of New England’s all-time great bands, The Swinging Steaks.
August 13: Marcia Ball – The Texas-born, Louisiana-raised musical storyteller has earned worldwide fame for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls onto the stage. Her groove-laden New Orleans boogie, deeply soulful ballads and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world.
August 20: Dana Fuchs Band – This band has owned the New York City club scene for several years now, living off the energy and vitality of its lead singer. Fuchs brings star power from the world of Broadway and film where she starred as Janis Joplin in the hit musical “Love, Janis,” and as Sadie in the Beatles movie “Across the Universe.”
UNIQUE FOOD TRUCKS AND VENDORS
This year we aim to bring a slew of exceptional food trucks, carts, and vendors to the series! Through a juried process, we decided on the best and brightest of the Valley and beyond to bring to Downtown Springfield on CityBlock evenings. Stop by after work to grab a drink and a bite to eat – there’s enough to try something new every week.
Cheesy Street Grill – Gourmet Grilled Cheese Truck
The Munchy Mobile – The $5 Truck
Rico Perou Latin Flava – Local Spanish Food
Samba’s Cuisine – Brazillian Specialty Food Truck
Sheraton Food – Sausage, Burgers and Dogs
Sidecar Bakery – Springfield’s Original Bicycle Bakery
Sugar D.L.’s – Baked Goods
This series wouldn’t be possible without the help of our amazing sponsors. Thank you!
Concert presented by
The program is supported in part by a grant from the Springfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
If you are planning on coming down to enjoy the show here are some convenient options for parking.